As it’s August, many things come to my mind: going back to school, the start of fall, and most exciting of all…Formal Panhellenic Recruitment! With recruitment season coming up, nerves are running high, recruitment songs are being belted and wardrobes are getting full. Along with sleek and sophisticated outfits and bellies full of butterflies comes pressure. Going through formal sorority recruitment can be taxing on your emotions, but in the end worth it.
Open your mind: When you walk into the door of your first chapter, just keep your expectations low. If you don’t expect anything, you can never be disappointed! As hard as it may be, especially if you’re a sophomore or a freshman who is familiar with the school and know the “reputations” of each sorority, go into each party with an unbiased opinion. Look at every chapter as an opportunity to make a fabulous first impression. If everyone likes you, then YOU can make the choice you want!
Stick to yourself: It’s only a couple of days. Focus on yourself. Go to the gym, read a book and prepare for classes. Don’t listen to whatever everyone is saying. If you feel you are better suited for a different sorority than your best friend that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re not best friends, it just means that you had a different experience during recruitment. Remember, this is a decision that lasts for a lifetime. Make sure you make the one that’s best for you, not for who is buzzing in your ear. You can still be friends with women in other chapters, in fact you should be! If you join sorority A and your best friend joins sorority B, your friendship can be just as strong as it was before! You guys may even have more to talk about, improving your friendship.
When you’ve followed those steps, relax! There’s not much you can do, but be yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly believe that the Panhellenic Recruitment system works. People will end up where they belong, but only if they are themselves, and not conforming to what they think people want them to be.
Still not feeling as relaxed as you want to be? There is always someone to talk to. That’s what your recruitment counselor is there for, as well as the Panhellenic President and the Greek Life Advisor in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. If you’re not feeling too comfortable talking to people you are just meeting you can always call your mom, your best friend, your biological sister or someone close to you. Don’t let the pressure consume you. This is supposed to be one of the greatest experiences of your life, so you may as well enjoy it!
So, congratulations on taking the plunge of signing up for recruitment. While it is a nerve-wracking experience, it also has the potential to be the greatest week of your life, leading you to amazing opportunities and friendships in the future. Stick to these tips, and you are sure to end up right where you belong. I know I did!
Want tips on how to make a great first impression? Check this out! How about great tips to stand out? Click here! Finally, if you’re feeling uneasy about joining a different sorority than your best friend, read this. It definitely eased the tension in my friendship!
Allison Cohen is a junior at the University of Connecticut. Follow her at @alli_cohen. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.